What Are the Dangers of Lithium Batteries?

By Kay Miranda

Lithium batteries have become the leading power source for cell phones and other mobile devices because of their ability recharge and carry nearly double the voltage that traditional batteries such as alkaline or zinc-carbon batteries do. They do possess hazards when not properly used or disposed of.

Fire Hazard

Fire and explosion is a serious risk when lithium batteries overheat. This is especially problematic when transporting entire shipments of batteries.

Skin Burn

Those batteries found on mobile devices such as laptops or cell phones can run extremely hot and burn skin on contact.

Short Circuit

Because of their small size with high voltage capacity, lithium batteries can discharge extremely high currents if they short circuit. The result is a shock that can be as effective as a stun gun.


When these batteries are charged too fast or overcharged, they pose greater risks. This accelerates possible failure in the anodes within the cells, or the charger could combust.

Chemical Reaction

At the core of the lithium battery is its chemical composition that induces high current charges. If for any reason the casing is breached, a chemical burn is highly likely.